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Child support system to get huge overhaul

first_imgNZ Herald 7 May 2012Child support is set to be overhauled in the biggest proposed changes to child support law in 20 years.The income of both parents will be factored into child support calculations for the first time under the Child Support Amendment Bill proposed by Revenue Minister Peter Dunne which has its first reading in Parliament tomorrow.At present, the income of the parent who has sole care of children is not considered in child support calculations because current laws assume the sole carer will not be earning an income.“We will include the income of both partners in the equation in terms of liability. Since 1992 far more of the custodial parents are back in the work force,” Mr Dunne said.If passed, the bill would do away with a blanket approach to calculating how much child support a parent had to pay and would factor in individual circumstances.Mr Dunne said the main carer of children, or the person who had custody, was now often an income earner and this had not been factored in to how payments had been calculated.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10804151last_img read more

Hot-car death: ‘Death is punishment enough’ – Family First

first_imgNZ Herald 5 June 2015A Wanganui health professional who pleaded guilty to manslaughter after her child was left in a hot car has been discharged without conviction.Before Justice Simon France in the High Court at Wanganui this morning, the woman began crying at the first mention of the boy’s name.The court heard the boy died of heatstroke and dehydration. He was discovered only after his creche texted and then phoned to inquire where he was.The defendant sobbed as the summary of facts was read out in court.About 20 people attended in the public gallery, many sharing tearful hugs during a morning adjournment.The 16-month-old boy, whose name has been suppressed, died outside her workplace on January 16. Police have not publicly confirmed the circumstances of his death, but charged the 35-year-old mother with his manslaughter in April.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11460213No conviction in infant’s hot car death3News 5 June 2015Family First says the decision is appropriate and that her child’s death is “punishment enough”.However, national director Bob McCoskrie is disappointed police pursued the prosecution, thereby initiating a “drawn-out court process” which “served no public benefit”.“It has just added to the pain of a mother who has already received a life sentence. What was the point of pursuing this further?“No jail term or punishment could have outweighed the consequence of the mother’s mistake. This does not appear to be a neglectful mother. It appears to be simply a tragic, tragic mistake. Fortunately the judge agreed.”Police should have used their discretion under the prosecution guidelines not to press charges, he says.http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/no-conviction-in-infants-hot-car-death-2015060510#axzz3c8dD8b79No conviction for woman in manslaughter of her sonStuff co.nz 5 June 2015A lobby group is criticising police for prosecuting a Whanganui health professional, whose son died after being left in a car on a hot day, saying it was not in the public interest.But police say it is their job to present the evidence to the court, which then decides what is appropriate.The 35-year-old woman was discharged without conviction by Justice Simon France in the High Court in Whanganui on Friday, having pleaded guilty last month to the manslaughter of the 16-month-old toddler, who died on January 16.The woman, her husband and the child were all granted permanent name suppression.Family First director Bob McCoskrie said he welcomed the decision, but was disappointed with police’s actions.The case was not in the public interest, and police could have used their discretion to keep the case out of court, he said.“The drawn out court process has served no public benefit. It has just added to the pain of a mother who has already received a life sentence.”http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/69124061/Woman-escapes-conviction-for-manslaughter-of-her-sonlast_img read more

Time for Parents to Resist Transgender Activism

first_imgFirst Things 20 January 2017Family First Comment: A superb article for parents to read.“With public schools fast becoming incubators of gender ideology, parents need to cast off their fears of entering the fray, speak out, and, most importantly, teach their children that their sex is a beautiful, biological reality.”Gender ideology seemed a ridiculous and improbable threat when I first considered its claims of male brains trapped in female bodies, but its rapid ascendancy in law and public opinion has made the term “transgender” a household word. While some were scoffing at Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair, I was engaged in a battle over the meaning of sex and gender at my children’s school. Katherine Kersten’s December contribution to First Things, “Transgender Conformity,” was, in part, my own story: I was a parent at Nova Classical Academy.Nova, a highly rated public charter school with a classical curriculum, had educated six of my seven children over the years. Nova wasn’t without its problems, but those problems paled in comparison with the bizarre clash that ensued last year. A kindergartener had arrived—or more correctly his parents, Dave and Hannah Edwards, had arrived—carrying the pink-and-blue banner of transgender activism. Claiming that their son was “gender non-conforming” (six months later they declared him to be a transgender girl), the Edwardses demanded that the school make special provisions for his “needs” that required infusing everyone else’s child with their peculiar version of reality. They closely followed the playbook for activist parents of transgender children disseminated by the Human Rights Campaign and other trans advocacy groups. Easily found in a Google search, these groups instruct parents of “gender variant” children to present their child’s transition as an impending bullying emergency to school officials. From the classroom reading of My Princess Boy, a book meant to normalize “gender expansive” behavior, to the adoption of a “gender inclusion” policy, parents and administrators at Nova were told that the Edwardses’ demands had to be met as quickly as possible.Though this ideology may seem above the understanding of young children, it sinks in quickly when your child’s classmate transitions to the opposite sex. Nova saw some kindergarteners leave mid-year, troubled by their classmate’s rapid metamorphosis. Stephanie Davies Arai, a UK-based communication specialist who has worked with parents for over eighteen years, says that at around four to five years of age, children begin to classify and categorize everything around them. Most importantly, children of this age will categorize their sex and that of others. This process in young children is inevitably undermined by the dualistic tenets of gender ideology. “By teaching [students] that this ‘gender identity’ is their ‘authentic self,’ disassociated from the body, we are actively training children into a state of ‘gender dysphoria’ as the normal,” Davies Arai states on her blog, Transgender Trend. The Edwardses had succeeded in creating a Brave New World in the kindergarten classroom.With the Obama “bathroom mandate” under injunction and the Grimm case pending at the Supreme Court, don’t think that activists have hit the pause button. Gender activism moves fast, is well-funded, and directs a significant amount of resources at public schools. The tragic consequences of this ideology are all around us—teen girls getting mastectomies, minors put at risk of being sterilized by synthetic hormones, and a gag on scientific inquiry—but who will dare say the Emperor has no clothes? With public schools fast becoming incubators of gender ideology, parents need to cast off their fears of entering the fray, speak out, and, most importantly, teach their children that their sex is a beautiful, biological reality.READ MORE: https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/01/time-for-parents-to-resist-transgender-activismlast_img read more

VALUE YOUR VOTE 2017: Marijuana

first_imgSupporters of decriminalisation would have us believe that cannabis is a gentle, harmless substance that gives users little more than a sense of mellow euphoria and hurts no one else. But the cannabis now in circulation is many times more powerful than that typically found in the early 1990s with up to a 25-fold increase in the amount of the main psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabidinol (THC). Naturally, growers want to sell marijuana with increased potency because it is more addictive. With increased potency comes increased health risks, greater likelihood of addiction, and the potential gateway to other and often more harmful drugs. Drug use is both a criminal and a health issue. There is a false dichotomy that criminal sanctions haven’t worked so we should ditch them all together and we should focus only on education and health initiatives. We should maintain both. Decriminalising marijuana is the wrong path if we care about public health and public safety, and about our young people. We will then start sending the message that marijuana isn’t that big a deal and that adults got the ‘say no to drugs’ message wrong.Regarding medicinal marijuana, Family First supports further quality research into the components of the marijuana plant for delivery via non-smoked forms, and supports the establishment of emergency programmes that allow seriously ill patients non-smoked components of marijuana approved and listed by the Ministry of Health. But New Zealanders need to be aware of the smoke-screen of ‘medicinal marijuana’. The strategy of groups who want dope legalised is to promote medicinal marijuana which simply manipulates society’s compassion for people with serious pain and health concerns. There should be caution around this issue, but we also support a compassionate, safe and effective response to those in real need.READ MORE: www.saynopetodope.nz(click on image/s to download PDF)last_img read more

VALUE YOUR VOTE 2017: Gender Identity Ideology In Schools

first_imgOur children are being indoctrinated with the message “Gender refers to how you identify, someone can identify as male, female, in between, both, or neither.” The PPTA has told secondary schools that “Gender identity refers to what a person thinks of as their own gender, whether they think of themselves as a man or as a woman, irrespective of their biological sex”, and that schools must not only recognise these forms of diversity, but affirm them. The Human Rights Commission has published guidelines to recognise the rights of children as young as five to use the changing room, play in the sports team, and even share bunkrooms on school camps that match their ‘gender identity’. But a recently released report which analysed over 200 peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences, concluded:The belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex—so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’—is not supported by scientific evidence.Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behaviour will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.It’s time that the Ministry of Education placed priority on scientific evidence and sound medical practice, rather than bowing to ideology and special interest groups pushing an agenda. In the school setting, girls have a right to privacy, especially in situations where they feel particularly vulnerable, like a toilet, changing room or showers. Gender identity ideology simply confuses and harms children and young people, and ignores biological reality.READ MORE: http://www.askmefirst.nzlast_img read more

Nigerian forces retake strategic town of Bama

first_imgBoko Haram has been ousted from the town of Bama which is very strategicNigeria’s military says it has taken control Bama a town in the North East of the country that was under the control of Boko Haram.The army declared the victory saying several fighters were killed in the process.It is continuing with its operation against the militants in Bama the second largest town in Borno state.Boko Haram was reportedly also ousted from Goniri, its last base in neighboring Yobe state.The group recently swore allegiance to the Islamic State militants based in Syria and Iraq an allegiance that was accepted by the ISIS.The violence in Nigeria has killed more than 13,000 people since 2009.The conflict has since spread to neighboring countries, including Chad and Cameroon.Reports say Bama is an important town because of its closeness to the state capital Maiduguri and has witnessed some of the worst violence during this insurgency.The town was attacked several times by the jihadists before they captured it six months ago, our correspondent says.The military said those jihadists who fled Bama headed for the border with Chad and it had requested the Chadian army to pursue them.last_img read more

UN renews MONUSCO’s mandate in DRC

first_imgMONUSCO has rejected the presence within DR Congo army of two generals suspected of committing human rights violations. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the UN Mission for Stabilization of Congo (MONUSCO) have began talks over the renewal of their partnership.This comes after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Thursday to renew for 12 months the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC, despite a request from the Kinshasa government to cut the force in half.Head of the MONUSCO forces,Martin Kobler is reported as  saying that there may be a lot of challenges in the relationship between MONUSCO forces and the government of DRC, but there’s need for the two to renew their relationship.The relationship between DRC and MONUSCO is tense.  Kinshasa has asked the UN Security Council to withdraw MONUSCO troops engaged in peacekeeping in eastern DR Congo, whereas the UN wants a gradual withdrawal.Already, the DR Congo government has rejected MONUSCO’s aid in tracking down the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda rebels in the east of the country.On the other hand, MONUSCO has rejected the presence within DR Congo army of two generals suspected of committing human rights violations.A month-long Congolese army (FARDC) campaign against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels has achieved little and revived doubts about the will and capacity of Congo to defeat a group at the heart of two decades of conflict in Africa’s Great Lakes region.In a unanimously adopted resolution on Thursday, the 15-member Security Council extended the mandate of the U.N. peacekeeping force for one year and said “the swift neutralization of the FDLR is a top priority in bringing stability to and protecting civilians of the DRC.”The Congolese government had wanted the U.N. force of some 22,000 troops and police to be more than halved, but a strategic review by the world body dismissed that as impractical and instead recommended a decrease of nearly 10 percent.The Security Council passed a resolution on Thursday to renew for 12 months the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC, despite a request from the Kinshasa government to cut the force in half.The Security Council resolution endorsed the suggested cut of 2,000 troops but refused to permanently reflect the change in the mandated strength of the peacekeeping force.The council expressed “its intention to make this troop reduction permanent, through a revised troop ceiling … once significant progress has been achieved regarding the priorities of MONUSCO’s mandate, including the fight against the FDLR.”last_img read more

Global Business 3rd July 2015

first_imgOn this edition of Global Business with Ramah Nyang:African Entrepreneurship is on the agenda ahead of the U.S. President’s visit to Kenya later this monthChinese mobile phone maker, takes on leading brands Apple and Samsung with a new smartphone for AfricaTechnology transforms mode of access to clean water in Kenyan slumslast_img

Torrential rain lashes down in Alexandria, Egypt submerging homes

first_imgThe streets of Alexandria were transformed into rivers on Sunday after heavy rain lashed down, causing flash floods in Egypt’s second largest city.Noel Mwakughu has more on that story.last_img

Deaf ‘hear again’ with stem cells

first_img Sharing is caring! 12 Views   no discussions HealthLifestyle Deaf ‘hear again’ with stem cells by: – September 12, 2012 Share Tweetcenter_img Share Share Researchers hope they will be able to one day treat deafness with stem cells.UK researchers say they have taken a huge step forward in treating deafness after stem cells were used to restore hearing in animals for the first time. Hearing partially improved when nerves in the ear, which pass sounds into the brain, were rebuilt in gerbils – a UK study in the journal Nature reports.Getting the same improvement in people would be a shift from being unable to hear traffic to hearing a conversation.However, treating humans is still a distant prospect.If you want to listen to the radio or have a chat with a friend your ear has to convert sound waves in the air into electrical signals which the brain will understand.This happens deep inside the inner ear where vibrations move tiny hairs and this movement creates an electrical signal.However, in about one in 10 people with profound hearing loss, nerve cells which should pick up the signal are damaged. It is like dropping the baton after the first leg of a relay race.The aim of researchers at the University of Sheffield was to replace those baton-dropping nerve cells, called spiral ganglion neurons, with new ones. They used stem cells from a human embryo, which are capable of becoming any other type of cell in the human body from nerve to skin, muscle to kidney.A chemical soup was added to the stem cells that converted them into cells similar to the spiral ganglion neurons. These were then delicately injected into the inner ears of 18 deaf gerbils.Over 10 weeks the gerbils’ hearing improved. On average 45% of their hearing range was restored by the end of the study.Dr Marcelo Rivolta said: “It would mean going from being so deaf that you wouldn’t be able to hear a lorry or truck in the street to the point where you would be able to hear a conversation.“It is not a complete cure, they will not be able to hear a whisper, but they would certainly be able to maintain a conversation in a room.”About a third of the gerbils responded really well to treatment with some regaining up to 90% of their hearing, while just under a third barely responded at all.Gerbils were used as they are able to hear a similar range of sounds to people, unlike mice which hear higher-pitched sounds.The researchers detected the improvement in hearing by measuring brainwaves. The gerbils were also tested for only 10 weeks. If this became a treatment in humans then the effect would need to be shown over a much longer term. There are also questions around the safety and ethics of stem cell treatments which would need to be addressed.‘Tremendously encouraging’Prof Dave Moore, the director of the Medical Research Council’s Institute of Hearing Research in Nottingham, told the BBC: “It is a big moment, it really is a major development.”However, he cautioned that there will still be difficulties repeating the feat in people.“The biggest issue is actually getting into the part of the inner ear where they’ll do some good. It’s extremely tiny and very difficult to get to and that will be a really formidable undertaking,” he said.Dr Ralph Holme, head of biomedical research for the charity Action on Hearing Loss, said: “The research is tremendously encouraging and gives us real hope that it will be possible to fix the actual cause of some types of hearing loss in the future. “For the millions of people for whom hearing loss is eroding their quality of life, this can’t come soon enough.”BBC Newslast_img read more